April is Global Astronomy Month! As in previous years, you can expect an exciting month, in which people around the world jointly celebrate astronomy under the motto “One People. One Sky”. We highlight the AstroPoetry and AstroArt contests running until 1 May, the many online observing sessions and Astronomy for All suggested activities. In Astronomy for All, the IAU Working Group for Equity and Inclusion and Astronomers without Borders (AWB) have joined forces, calling on everyone to make their activities more inclusive. There are many more programmes you can join, so check out the full schedule here and don't miss this global celebration.
In this issue, we highlight the Asteroid Day declared by the UN for 30 June, NASA's new searchable video, audio and imagery library for the public, and the 2017 OAD-funded "Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace" project by GalileoMobile.
Happy reading and clear skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team
1) Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace
“Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace” is a joint astronomy outreach project run by GalileoMobile and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) that takes place on the divided island of Cyprus. The project aims to inspire young people, using astronomy as a tool for promoting meaningful communication and a culture of peace and nonviolence. The team will conduct educational activities and explore the cosmos with children and the public from the various communities living on the island, with the goal of inspiring a sense of global citizenship “under the same sky” and looking beyond borders by promoting cultural exchange.
2) National Outreach Contacts (NOC) Corner: News from Portugal
a) Astrofesta 2017
On 25 and 26 August, the city of Monsaraz will host Astrofesta 2017, the largest and oldest stargazing party in Portugal. The "astroparty" is a joint organisation by “Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência”, "Observatório do Lago Alqueva", "Centro Ciência Viva de Constância" and Reguengos de Monsaraz Municipality. Amateur astronomers will be able to share their observations and display their different types of equipment, but the party organisation welcomes everyone — families and friends who together want to enjoy the wonders of the night sky.
b) IAstro Júnior
IAstro Júnior is an initiative by the "Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA)" and "Visão Júnior" magazine. The activity consists of a set of sessions in Lisbon and Porto, aimed at children from 7 to 12 years old, where space and the Universe are presented. In these sessions, the children have a unique chance to interact with researchers and to question them first hand about astronomy and what it means to be an astronomer.
3) Linking Astronomy and Data Science for Development
Data science is one of the critical skills that can be acquired through astronomy and it is also very useful for development organisations. Dr Paul Wilson is a visiting fellow at the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development who is creating a Data Science Toolkit. This kit can be used for teaching data science through astronomy. It can also help astronomers identify learning and skills domains within astronomy that also include important data science skills (e.g. programming, statistics, databases). If you have questions or suggestions, please contact paul[at]astro4dev.org.
4) NASA Image and Video Library
NASA has launched a new resource to help the public search and download images, videos and audio files by keyword and metadata. The new NASA Image and Video Library allows users to search, discover and download 140 000 NASA images, videos and audio files from across the agency’s many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight and more.
Asteroid Day is a worldwide public education effort about asteroids, the associated science and the scientists working in the field and in 2016, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognised 30 June as International Asteroid Day. Over the last few years the global response to the event has increased steadily, and this year the organising team is encouraging everyone to coordinate their Asteroid Day activities around the world.
Yuri’s Night, held every year on 12 April, is a global celebration of the history of space exploration in commemoration of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering mission into space in 1961, and the inaugural launch of the first Space Shuttle on 1981. Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April and combine space-themed partying with education and outreach.
“Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science” is a short film anthology from Science Friday and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The series follows a number of women, each working at the forefront of her field, and takes viewers to places like the Arctic and India’s space agency, following the challenges, deeply-rooted cultural or institutional norms, working conditions, and personal sacrifice. This project hopes to inspire a future generation of women to lead careers in STEM fields.
“Space 360” is a series of stunning 360° videos from the International Space Station (ISS) that provide an immersive experience of life in orbit. The project features the first-ever 360° videos filmed from low Earth orbit, footage captured by Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko. “Space 360” is part of a collaboration with the Russian space agency Roscosmos, rocket and space corporation Energia, and TV network RT.
You can find more information on the project by exploring the official “Space 360” website: http://space360.rt.com/
9) Meetings & Global Events
Here you can find a list of astronomy outreach & education conferences and events around the world. Plan ahead for a year full of interesting events!
Women in Astronomy IV: The Many Faces of Women Astronomers
Date: 9–11 June 2017
Location: Austin, Texas
More Information: http://bit.ly/2kgLbsL
h) Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting 2017
Date: 2–6 July 2017
Location: University of Hull, United Kingdom
More Information: https://nam2017.org/
i) The International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology
Date: July 3-7, 2017
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
More Information: http://ise2a.uu.nl/
j) 13th Asian-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM 2017)
Date: 3–7 July 2017
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
More Information: http://www.aprim2017.tw/
k) Big Data in Astronomy: A Potential Tool For Social Innovation (BAriSta)
Dates: 7 - 11 August 2017
Location: Flic en Flac, Mauritius
More Information: https://sites.google.com/ska.ac.za/barista/home?authuser=0
l) European Planetary Science Congress 2017
Date: 17–22 September 2017
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, Riga, Latvia
More Information: http://www.epsc2017.eu/
m) 3rd COSPAR Symposium
Date: 18–22 September 2017
Location: Jeju Island, South Korea,
More information: https://cosparhq.cnes.fr/
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11) Contributions to this newsletter - looking forward to hearing from you in 2017!
Here at the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, we are always looking for more news about astronomical education and outreach events around the world. Please continue to share your stories with us in 2017! If you are organising any large-scale events at a regional or international level, offering astronomy education or communication job positions, have any innovative projects or inspiring stories, looking for professional–amateur collaboration in astronomy, or have created any educational resources, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.